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Jealousy of pregnancy

Mky0005's picture

Hi all. I'm 13 weeks pregnant with my first bio. My 14.5 year old (immature ) stepdaughter is excited but I'm starting to see jealous behaviors. She wants to make decisions (crib , wall paint ), and now bc we are painting the nursery , she all of a sudden wants her room repainted , even though we painted it when we moved in a few years ago and were clear that was it. My husband is caving and thinks we should paint her room bc "she's older now and likes new colors." Whatever. I told him fine but it's on y'all and also told him to talk to his daughter and let her know that the baby will be getting things that she will not. Babies need stuff and currently the baby has nothing. Husband refuses to talk about this w his daughter bc he didn't see it as jealousy. I told him fine I'll talk to her about it then. Paint her room if you want but I'll tell her the expectation- baby will be getting a lot of stuff and she won't. I don't know what else to do. But there needs to be realistic expectations. What do you think?

WwCorgi7's picture

I'm in a very similar situation (I've made a few posts about it here, SD is also 14) and while I don't have too much advice, what I can say is your DH should take it seriously and address this situation early on. He needs to have a discussion with SD reassure her that she isn't being replaced or anything. He also needs to let her know now that she isn't going to be calling the shots and making demands because of the new baby. You can involve her in small things but as far as nursery/ major decision making that is left to the actual parents and when she has her own children someday she will be able to make those decisions. Good luck mama,  stand your ground on this situation and tell DH if he looks the other way or gives in to her it may backfire.

Survivingstephell's picture

The privilege of being an adult is that you get to make all the decisions.  Giving that power to a kid is a horrible parenting technique.  Do not let her get any idea in her head that she gets to make decisions around the baby.  Last thing you need with a newborn is a pissing match with a 14.5 yo teen.  Nip this in the bud now. 

tog redux's picture

Yeah, what is it with all these kids who think they get to make decisions about a new baby? It's so bizarre. Is it the bio parent's way of making their first child feel better? What 14 yo gives a flying fig what crib someone gets?

Kes's picture

Congratulations on your pregnancy!  It's not a massive concession to allow a 14 yr old to have her room repainted - you could let her help with the actual painting - I think I painted my own room when about this age. But as to making decisions about the baby, forget it!  This is your first baby and you and your DH are the ones who get to choose, not her. Of course the new baby is going to need a lot of new equipment - at 14, SD is well old enough to understand this. 

shamds's picture

Will be getting alot of things because even though you need to buy heeps of stuff, you can hand these down to subsequent kids... 

when i was about to deliver my 1st born my ss was 17.5, he was not part of any discussion regarding baby names, baby decor and furniture. He’s a recluse and shuns us all so hubby simply told him one day that i was pregnant and he needed to step up doing chores at home because i had alot of things going on and severe morning sickness/hyperemesis gravidarum (hope i spelt that right lol)

me and hubby bought our baby things, never did we feel or would we consider having to answer to a skid to justify our spending

my husband is very firm that anything baby related such as name, baby decor and furniture was between me and him. There would never be a day any of his kids would be able to dictate or bully hubby into bullying me into submission to follow their way. My husband is firm on this that he will not tolerate skids inserting themselves into anything relating or pertaining to our sexual relationship (being pregnant and expecting a baby and baby stuff forms part of this)....

This is how it should be!!

ESMOD's picture

It kind of seems to an extent that skids and maybe some bio kids react to an announcement of a new baby coming like it's a new puppy for the household... if they are "for" it.. they start wanting to pick the collar..errm crib out etc.. I think it's also partially that they want to be involved in the new family structure.. and don't want to be "on the sidelines".  

The painting of the room.. may not be so much jealousy.. but if it has been years since her room was painted.. and she sees the fun of decorating the nursery.. perhaps that sparks some desire in her to have a fresh color in her room.

Yes.. paint and paint supplies cost a little bit.. but if she is willing to put in the work with her dad on the room.. it sounds like a minor thing to let her do something like that.. 

I don't think you need to point out that "the baby will need things so don't you go counting stuff" unless she starts literally complaining about "all the stuff baby is getting and she isn't getting anything".. "well, SD.. we did think you were a little old for a binky.. but we can get you one if you like".

Tried out's picture

maybe they are simply over empowered and are used to having an inappropriate status in their household. I have difficulty imagining a child without an elevated sense of importance assuming they would be a decision maker about a new baby.

SeeYouNever's picture

I think when there is a baby involved step kids try to assert their power over their parent and just want them to buy things or do things for them like paint the room by the new clothes etc etc. A parent that is already parenting out of guilt is going to feel even guiltier when there is another child from the way with the Stepmom. Step kids know very well how to exploit their parents guilt and that is exactly what's going on here. It's very different from the jealousy that happens between biological siblings then it's more about attention and their role in the family rather than trying to exploit their parents, in an intact family guilt does not play the same role.

my SD was like this to a little extent and my husband also encouraged it until I put a stop to it. We were redoing the spare room to be the nursery and then suddenly my husband added on to his to-do list a whole bunch of things for SDs room(which is basically just a guest room). I had to redirect him to prioritize the baby's room because really all SD needs at our house is a place to sleep. This was all based on my husband's guilt about starting a second family.

Simpleton21's picture

SeeYouNever - NAILED IT!!!! My DH parents out of guilt and SD exploits it to the full extent.  When my YDS FINALLY got his own room in my idiot DH was thinking we would move SD into the bigger room and give YDS the smaller room (SD's shrine that she uses every other weekend if that).   I went off.  YDS will be big one day and lives with us FULL TIME.  He will get the bigger room especially when he went far to long without a room so SD could have her own room (which I know is my fault I shouldn't have allowed it for so long but I didn't think it would take that long to make a 4th bedroom).  Then when we painted ODS's new room because we moved him around too he thought that SD should get to repaint her room too (she wanted to paint it BLACK).  I did not allow it.  He was doing this all out of guilty parenting.  We didn't have the extra money to paint her room and she picked the color of the room when we first got the house.  The only reason ODS got to pick a new color was because the room was yellow and he didn't choose it.  YDS wasn't even given the option of his room being repainted.  We just decorated it how he wanted. 

Rags's picture

My parents had a great lecture for just about everything.  For this situation they had the "You have had your turn at this age and will not be allowed to interfere in your brothers turn.  Just as he will not be allowed to interfere in your turn to be the age that you are. His turn will come for that age. You have already had your turn at every age he will have."

It made sense to me when they first shared this wisdom with me and they did a great job of delivering on that wisdom as they raised their boys.

So, let DH know that either he gives SD this message or you will and that under no circumstances will you allow her or him to interfere in your baby's turn.

If your DH struggles with this concept... I am sorry he is such an idiot.  But... stand your ground.

It can be a difficult lesson for parents to come to the realization that kids are individuals and there is no need to treat them exactly the same.  My younger brother gave our parents this clarity.  Once he hit his pre-teens they started giving us duplicate gifts.  Primarily things like stereos, watches, etc....   At some point he asked them not to do that anymore and explained that he preferred that they recognize that we were individuals and that different gifts would not make him feel less loved.  I had no issue with that. But then again, I really didn't care about the duplicate gifts.  For me it was about time with the family and making holidays special.

A 14.5yo needs to step up and be given clarity that they are approaching young adulthood and will not be catered to like a baby. Your DH needs to grow the hell up and gain full clarity on this point as well.  Worrying about a teens fee fees over a new baby is just rediculous IMHO.

Lather, rinse, repeat.


Survivingstephell's picture

Duplicate gifts come across as not being special enough to take time to get separate gift. Kinda like that thoughtless uncle that whips out his wallet and gives you a twenty at your birthday party because he forgot.   Eyeroll.  

Rags's picture

That certainly can be the case. In the case of my parents, they always did great gifts tailored to each of us... until the few years where they got into equity.  That was when we each got a very nice stereo (identical) and a few other identical nice gifts.  Growing up the gift model was usually one major gift with several small gifts.  The mall gifts were always unique even if the big gift was the same.

Generally we all do gifts that we specifically want that person to have.  

It was my brother who talked to mom about the identifical gift thing bothering him.

Tried out's picture

like how your parents approached this!

As my kids got older - 14+ - and would pull the "how come HE gets to xyz..." I started responding "because I love him more than I do you."

It was just so ridiculous hearing a deep voice saying something so childish. It shut them up every single time.

Dogmom1321's picture

Instead of phrasing it as "you won't be getting anything" I would reframe it as "Well, when you were a baby you DID get...." SD won't remember or appreciate the things her parents DID already do for her, so I think it's your DH job to remind her. 

Let her know there was a time when she had a crib, toys, shower gifts, etc. (If you have any) show her pictures from when she was little. It is apples and oranges trying to compare a teen with a newborn. They are different stages of life. Before the child is even school age years, (hopefully) your SD will be out of the house by then. That should alleviate a lot of the headache. Also, you can focus on the things she DOES have since she is older... a bike, tv, etc. Things only teens have. Hopefully this will make her feel "special"

hereiam's picture

Personally, I would let her paint her room. That was the one thing my parents let me and my sisters have control over, how our rooms were decorated. It really is a small thing and will give her a sense of accomplishment and the feeling that she still matters. I know your pregnancy and having your first bio is a big deal but it doesn't mean SD should not still matter.

She should not have final say over anything that has to do with the baby or nursery but there is nothing wrong with including her in the process, you don't have to use the color that she suggests or let her pick out the crib.

I'm with ESMOD, I don't think you need to have a conversation about the baby getting things but SD won't, unless she actually starts complaining that the baby gets onesies and SD doesn't have any. At that point, I probably would buy her a pacifier, she is old enough to know that a baby needs things and that doesn't mean she gets something new every time the baby does.

My SD was jealous when my niece was little, DH and I had her a lot. DH told SD that when she was a baby, he treated her the same as he was treating our niece, played with her, fed her, changed her diapers, blah, blah, blah. But playing airplane with a 12 year old was not an option. The attention that a baby needs is different than that of a teenager. He never ignored SD when our niece was here, but SD still felt some jealousy.

I think it's also partially that they want to be involved in the new family structure.. and don't want to be "on the sidelines".  

I agree with this ^^^ and disagree with people who think that a teenager's feelings should never be taken into consideration. There just has to be a balance (which is severely lacking in most blended families). Her feelings can be recognized, without giving up your adult status in the home.




strugglingSM's picture

So far, the only jealously we have faced has been from BM who has told DH that he is "selfish" and making SSs feel like "he is trying to replace them." Both SSs have told us they are excited, but I suspect, based on BM's reaction that overly dramatic, enmeshed SS will start acting up and jockeying for position.